by Kati Hiekkapelto
(trans. David Hackston)
Every page has its purpose in this thrilling crime story with murder, modernity and meaning aplenty.
The 3rd in the Anna Fekete series see her return to Kanizsa - the Balkan town of her birth - for a holiday. The Serbian town, on the Hungarian border, is dealing with the ongoing effects of the refugee crisis and this plays its part in the novel.
After her handbag is snatched Anna Fekete gives chase, heading down to the Roma community. When the thief is found dead on the river bank, spotted by an old fisherman friend of Anna’s father, it’s said to be a drowning but the corpse tells other tales.
This and the disappearance of a young girl in a red shirt are only just the beginning. There are groups of people who aren’t wanted and others filled with hatred for them. The insight into the problems of living in the established Roma community, the burgeoning refugee crisis and far-right nationalism soon become evident.
Anna Fekete enlists all the help she can from Serbia and back in Finland but she’s pretty much a lone cop save for a new partner, of sorts, in the form of a young Hungarian cop called Peter. Their search for information leads to threats and danger as focus turns to the past.
The Yugoslav wars took their toll on Fekete’s family. Her mother couldn’t settle in Finland and had previously returned to Serbia leaving Anna abroad. One brother’s an alcoholic, another died in the conflict, and Anna has her own troubles with insomnia and drink. She’s a dogged, workaholic cop and comes across a little cold or guarded at times. She may be complex but she’s certainly someone the reader wants to get to know and her relationship with her mother is revealing in this instalment.
Many of the town’s influential figures come out of the woodwork - former acquaintances of Anna’s father – and she’s dripped fed lies. Anna must dig hard to unravel the corruption that may reveal dark secrets that come close to home. Captivating.
About Kati Hiekkapelto:
Kati Hiekkapelto is a bestselling author, punk singer, performance artist and special-needs teacher. She lives on an old farm on the island of Hailuoto in Northern Finland, where she is currently setting up a retreat for writers and artists in danger. Kati has taught immigrants and lived in the Hungarian region of Serbia, which inspired her to write her highly regarded debut crime novel, The Hummingbird, which was shortlisted for the Petrona Award, and published in six languages to date. The Defenceless won best Finnish Crime Novel of 2014 and will be up for the coveted Glass Key in 2016. Kati is currently working on the third novel in the Anna Fekete series.
Translated by David Hackston: David Hackston is a British translator of Finnish and Swedish literature and drama. He graduated from University College London in 1999 with a degree in Scandinavian Studies and now lives in Helsinki where he works as a freelance translator.
Notable publications include The Dedalus Book of Finnish Fantasy, Maria Peura’s coming-of-age novel At the Edge of Light, Johanna Sinisalo’s eco-thriller Birdbrain and two crime novels by Matti Joensuu. David is currently working on a translation of Riku Korhonen’s latest novel Sleep Close. His drama translations include three plays by Heini Junkkaala, most recently Play it, Billy! (2012) about the life and times of jazz pianist Billy Tipton. David is also a regular contributor to Books from Finland. In 2007 he was awarded the Finnish State Prize for Translation.
David is also a professional countertenor and is currently studying early music and performance practice at Helsinki Metropolia University. He is a founding member of the English Vocal Consort of Helsinki.
Murder. Corruption. Dark secrets.
A titanic wave of refugees. Can Anna solve a terrifying case that’s become personal? Anna Fekete returns to the Balkan village of her birth for a relaxing summer holiday. But when her purse is stolen and the thief is found dead on the banks of the river, Anna is pulled into a murder case. Her investigation leads straight to her own family, to closely guarded secrets concealing a horrendous travesty of justice that threatens them all. As layer after layer of corruption, deceit and guilt are revealed, Anna is caught up in the refugee crisis spreading like wildfire across Europe. How long will it take before everything explodes? Chilling, taut and relevant, The Exiled is an electrifying, unputdownable thriller from one of Finland’s most celebrated crime writers.